CITF Spotlight on Research | Issue 44 | December 7, 2021

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There are limited data on COVID-19 illness and vaccination during pregnancy to inform recommendations for pregnant people and their care providers and to guide public health policies. The CITF and CanCOVID are therefore eager to share the latest research from three CITF-supported studies that are helping to inform decision-making for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine administration programs in Canada.

The featured speakers are: Dr. Deshayne Fell of the University of Ottawa and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute; Dr. Deborah Money of the University of British Columbia and BC Women’s Hospital; and Dr. Deborah O’Connor of the University of Toronto. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion and a question-and-answer period.

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CITF-Funded Research Results

Antibody wane being observed yet breakthrough infections rare: Latest Canadian Blood Services report

In their latest report, Canadian Blood Services reveals that 97% of blood donors sampled in September had evidence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 acquired through immunization with at least one vaccine dose and/or a past infection. This number is largely driven by vaccination as infection-acquired seroprevalence remained low in September - at 4.4% - despite the ongoing fourth wave. September results showed evidence of antibody wane in older adults supporting the need for boosters, but breakthrough infections in individuals who received at least one dose of vaccine were infrequent.

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Increased dosing intervals leads to increased antibody levels and neutralization

Extending the interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses was introduced in Canada to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. In research published in JAMA, Drs. Brian Grunau, David Goldfarb, and Pascal Lavoie from the University of British Columbia studied the vaccine-induced antibody levels in paramedics enrolled in a CITF-funded study who were immunized with mRNA vaccines at differing dosing intervals. They show that longer durations between doses led to increased average antibody levels and higher viral neutralization, particularly against the Delta variant.

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From Preprint to Publication

Previous infection with common cold seasonal coronavirus may help protect against COVID-19

Nearly everyone has been exposed to the highly prevalent seasonal coronaviruses responsible for the common cold. But could this exposure induce antibodies that also recognize certain proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus? A study led by University of Ottawa researcher Dr. Marc-André Langlois, now published in EBio Medicine, proposes that some individuals previously infected with certain seasonal coronaviruses may have pre-existing protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2.

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CITF Announcement

New study investigates immune response and vaccine hesitancy among First Nations communities

A new study we are supporting will work with three First Nations communities to investigate vaccine hesitancy, the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine and, health outcomes after vaccination within those communities. Led by Dr. Sonia Anand from McMaster University, the study will collect, analyze, and report data relating to COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and safety, as well as explore hesitancy in three First Nations communities in Canada: Six Nations of the Grand River in southwestern Ontario; Lac La Ronge Indian Band in Saskatchewan; and Wendake in Quebec.

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CanPath to study the impact and immune response to COVID-19 infection and vaccination

The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath) COVID-19 Antibody Study is expanding. We are funding an extension of CanPath’s existing study over a longer period of time, allowing for an additional collection of blood samples and questionnaire responses from participants. This will enable CanPath to evaluate immune responses over time in people who have had one, two or three doses of a vaccine, have had different vaccines (or a mix of brands), and are of different sexes and ages, among other criteria for comparison.

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CITF Monthly Review – December 2021

Read the first edition of our new publication, CITF Monthly Review, featuring novel CITF modelling data on seroprevalence, an experts’ commentary on pediatric vaccination, and highlights of recent CITF publications.

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The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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